REVIEW: Phil [2019]

I never promised you a rose garden. We meet Phil McGuire (Greg Kinnear) exiting his parked car while still in traffic to climb up a bridge railing. It’s a one hundred-plus foot drop into the water and he imagines taking the plunge before a group of teens with cellphones outstretched jolt him from the morbid sensation with excitable demands that he jump so they can enjoy the carnage. That’s a bold tonal mood on behalf of screenwriter Stephen Mazur and director Kinnear (his debut) because there’s actual dejection on their…

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REVIEW: Brigsby Bear [2017]

“Prophecy is meaningless. Trust only your familial unit.” The best films are those that come out of nowhere and should be viewed as such. Seriously. Stop reading and go see Brigsby Bear yourself because the less you know about it the better. That’s not to say its conceit is a spoiler—its complete shift in perspective and environment occurs barely fifteen minutes in and proves crucial as the impetus for the entire plot—but I was glad I was completely unaware. I read the description about how the film deals with a…

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REVIEW: Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues [2013]

“You knocked him back to the fifth grade” When you couple my dislike of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy with my obvious indifference to the announcement of its long-awaited sequel, watching Harrison Ford on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in August proved a hilariously spot-on validation of my sheer inability to understand what everyone sees in Adam McKay and Will Ferrell‘s comedy classic. Brought on to shoot a yet-unknown cameo despite never having seen the original, Ford said, “I got down there; I had no idea who those guys were. And…

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Posterized Propaganda July 2011: ‘Pooh’ and Friends Trump ‘Monte Carlo’

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact that impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. Photoshop: the Bad, the Really Bad, and Some Success You see it a lot these days—the dreaded floating head Photoshop hack job. July 2011 is no stranger to the…

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REVIEW: Green Zone [2010]

“Don’t be naïve” Yep, that line above pretty much sums up the film Green Zone to perfection. It is not only used once, sober and matter-of-fact, but a second time as a retort with dry sarcasm. America invaded Iraq with the sole purpose of giving Saddam Hussein the boot and entrenching themselves into the very infrastructure of the country, causing it to not only have a puppet leader, but pretty much put their hand up the backside of the entire nation. At least this is what screenwriter Brian Helgeland would…

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REVIEW: Baby Mama [2008]

“My avatar is dressed like a whore” Say what you will about the marketing machine, but I truly think the people behind promoting Baby Mama did a bang up job … even if I believe they did so without trying. They make expectations so low in the trailer that you almost have to enjoy the film. Was it a great comedy? No. However, it was much better than I ever could have hoped as Michael McCullers takes us places you never would expect going in. I thought that it would…

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REVIEW: Unknown [2006]

“He must be tied up for a reason” Here is a little known film that never reached theatres in Buffalo, despite its all-star cast of talented actors. When you have guys like Jim Caviezel, Greg Kinnear, Barry Pepper, Peter Stormare, and Joe Pantoliano, with Jeremy Sisto and Bridget Moynahan thrown in, and an intriguing trailer about five men waking up with amnesia in an abandoned warehouse, not knowing which side of good they are on, (a couple people are hurt and/or tied up), how could this film not be raking…

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REVIEW: The Matador [2005]

“The best cocktail party story you’ve ever met” No matter what you say about Pierce Brosnan’s acting talent, you have to give him credit for being able to make fun of the roles he has made a living on. From TV’s “Remington Steele” to his stint as James Bond, Brosnan has always been the suave killer with the serious demeanor and ladies aplenty. Even as of late you see him doing variations of the part like his diamond thief in After the Sunset. With The Matador, however, we see a…

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REVIEW: Little Miss Sunshine [2006]

“A little sweet sweetness” Keeping up with the recent buzz-worthy films coming out of Sundance the past couple years, Little Miss Sunshine is a gem of a movie. After loving crowd favorites Primer (2004) and Hustle and Flow (2005), I wasn’t quite sure if the hat trick would be made. Sunshine seemed to have the cast, and direction (the debut of husband/wife team Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, who have helmed some of my favorite music videos including the Smashing Pumpkins’ Tonight, Tonight and the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Otherside),…

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